December 16, 2010
Brunswick News – Local News
By ERIKA CAPEK
With one semester as chief executive officer of Golden Isles Career Academy practically under his belt, Rick Townsend says he better understands the needs of the school and the community.This is the second year the career academy, a charter public school at 4404 Glynco Parkway, is offering career programs to students in grades nine through 12. "I understand the community has set high expectations for the school and its staff, and we're going to meet those expectations," said Townsend, who has been at the job since August. "I'm excited about the future." Townsend is thinking about how to improve the school.
One proposal he's working on is the creation of a foundation board. The main role of the board would be achieving financial goals. It also would be responsible for a scholarship program for post-secondary training for students, service learning and finding ways to fund school competitions. Although board members have yet to be determined, Townsend said he hopes to have the board in place in the next 60 days.
Townsend also would like students at the school to do more service projects. The career academy is now partnered with two groups - Lord of Life Christian Montessori School on St. Simons Island and FaithWorks Ministry in Brunswick - for service learning projects. Townsend said he is working with Wright Culpepper, executive director of FaithWorks, to find ways to match talents of students to needs of the organization. He would like to see the number of service projects tackled by the student body grow. "I'm hoping to start community service projects full-force and get the word out in January," Townsend said. "Giving back to the community is so important. It gives our kids that real world experience in the field." Enrollment is another area of focus for Townsend. The academy has 413 students enrolled first semester. Townsend expects about 400 in the 2011 spring semester. "We've really started beefing up our recruiting efforts," he said.
In January, a career academy fair will be held at the high schools, at which students will receive in-depth information about programs that are offered.